Letting Go the Pride of Mothering

Photo Credit: Alabaster Jar Photography

This might be a hard pill to swallow. But I think it needs to be addressed, not to condemn you but to shed a light on something you might need to surrender to God.

As mothers, we are constantly giving to our children.
There's no denying that we know more about our kids than other people, but when it seems like no one else can do a better job than we do, it gives pride a dangerous room to grow.

What is this pride of mothering?

The pride that only we - and us the mothers only - know how to take care of our kids. As a result we:
a) become control freaks when other people, even our own husbands, are watching the kids, or
b) we don't even allow other people to watch our kids because they won't do as good of a job as we do, or
c) when someone is watching the kids and they make a mistake you become hyper critical.

Why do we have this pride?

An inflated or a deflated view of self leads to this pride.

When we have an inflated view of self, we believe that our way of mothering our children is more superior so much so that we will sin to protect it. For example, when you are away from the kids and your husband, or your mom or whoever, is watching the kids. You wonder what's going on at home; you wonder if your husband could handle your kids; you wonder if your husband has "messed up" the routine you've set up for your kids.
I want you to take a step back and examine your heart - even if your husband is not caring for the kids the way you do it, does it mean his way is wrong? Is his way of caring sinful? If it is sinful, then you should absolutely have a talk with your husband. But if it's not, perhaps you should let it go.

On the flip side, when we have a deflated view of self, we are self-conscious about how we mother. We second-guess ourselves and it feels vulnerable, it feels uncomfortable. We don't like how it feels therefore we go into hyper-drive to keep this self-consciousness hidden through control and criticism. Anyone who threatens to unveil this insecurity will be deemed as enemy.
I see this all the time on social media. One mom makes a particular mothering decision, another mom comes in and tears her apart. Every mom is different; every child is different; every family goes through different seasons of life that require making different choices. We need to accept that just because they don't make the same choice as you, it does not mean your choice is wrong.

The Antidote to Pride in Mothering

How should a Christian follower handle this pride? We must first:

Recognize that God is the giver of all and all that we are - He gives us blessings; He gives us wisdom and knowledge. 

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
— John 15:5

Confess and Repent - When Jesus said "it is finished" on the cross, we were broken free from this chain of pride. The pride of mothering has no hold on us. Instead we have been clothed in Jesus's humility. Let's go to the throne of God, lay down our pride and put on the humility Jesus gave us.

Replace pride with humility - Through prayers and holding on to the truth, we can surrender our prideful hearts and God will fill them with humility instead.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
— Romans 12:3
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
— 1 Peter 5:5

Cultivate a thanksgiving heart - Gratitude helps us give credit where credit is due. It helps us turn our eyes from self to God. Establish a habit where every time you do something, you will also say a prayer of thanksgiving. For example, every time you brush your teeth you thank God for the blessings He has given you. Or every time you get in the car you give Him praises for all that He has done for you. Determine a trigger so you can establish a habit of thanksgiving.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
— Philippians 4:4